Why This Matters

  • 10% EXPECTED GROWTH FOR PRODUCER AND DIRECTOR JOBS

    Strong demand for reality shows, U.S.-based shows for foreign audiences, and video content for streaming platforms is helping these positions grow faster than the average of all other occupations.

  • THE U.S. NEEDS 16,000 MORE PRODUCERS AND DIRECTORS BY 2029

    The expected growth of 16,000 new jobs is primarily due to shows being made exclusively for streaming platforms, bringing accelerated expansion to the market.

  • POTENTIAL TO EARN $173,680 OR MORE PER YEAR

    Although some in the industry have high-paying positions on hit TV shows, the average pay of $74,420 for directors and producers includes working in advertising, the music industry, and sports programming.

Our Research

This list focuses on undergraduate and certification degree programs related to film, television, media, and video but also includes any master’s degree programs available. As an arts-related field, film and television programs typically award a bachelor’s degree. We reviewed programs that are offered on campus, online, and a combination of the two.

Film and television degrees are accredited by many reputable associations, including the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), and Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Accreditation by a reputable association helps you find success in your field and is typically more transferable if you decide to pursue an advanced degree at another institution.

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. Our top picks for the best Film Degree program are affordable, respected, and flexible. (For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.)

  • 50 hours to write this article
  • 198 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 240 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Film Degree Programs

Best Film Degree Program
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What You Should Know About This Degree

When considering this career path, it’s important to note the distinction between film, television, and media. Although all three involve recorded video, there are differences.

Film usually refers to movies, including documentaries. Because there’s a lot of competition in this field, many film producers and directors start off making independent films to gain experience and establish themselves in the industry.

Television directors and producers work on sitcoms, reality shows, sports shows, games shows, talk shows, television specials, or any recorded shows that would appear on television or streaming platforms that aren’t long-form cinematic productions.

Media directors and producers work in advertising, including commercials, music videos, or any other short-form video that’s not considered a movie or television show. It’s important to make sure the program you’re pursuing includes a focus on your area of interest or gives proper training in all three types of production and directing if you have no career preference.

Most producers and directors have bachelor’s degrees in film and cinema, while others have degrees in related fields, such as acting, writing, or communications. There aren’t any specific certifications needed for this profession, but any degree should be from an accredited program so you’re competitive with other producers and directors who are also likely to have degrees.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching film degree programs:

  • How long does it take to complete this degree program? The amount of time it takes to complete a degree program depends on the number of credits required and the number you complete each semester. The programs in our research ask for credits in the range of 36 to 132, with most being 120. Completing 30 credits per year would make this a four-year degree.
  • What licensing or certifications are required? There aren’t any specific licensing or certifications required for this career path.

As you research programs, be sure to keep track of application deadlines and what application materials you need for each school. You can look for this information on the school’s website or contact the admissions department.

You should also look into financing options for your undergraduate education. Make sure you submit financial aid applications in a timely manner, and check for other sources of funding, including scholarships and assistantships.